About COA

Founded in 1977, the Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit organization that accredits human and social service providers.

We currently accredit (or are in the process of accrediting) over 1600 organizations that serve more than 7 million individuals and families in the U.S. and Canada. COA is an approved accreditor of Qualified Residential Treatment Programs (QRTPs) under the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).

What does COA do?

With the support of over 30 national and international organizations, a network of over 500 volunteers, a dedicated board, and highly skilled staff, the COA community is committed to championing quality by promoting best practice standards and advocating for accreditation.

We publish best practices (standards) for child welfare, behavioral health, and community-based human and social service providers.
Our standards undergo a rigorous, multi-stage development and vetting process to ensure that they remain relevant and reflect current best practice.

We guide providers through our (rigorous) accreditation process.
Organizations apply to go through the accreditation process, during which they demonstrate implementation of the standards. We maintain five different books of standards and accredit the following related business lines: Private Organizations, Public Agencies, Canadian Organizations, Child & Youth Services, and Military Family Readiness Programs.

We help organizations achieve measurable results.
Through accreditation, organizations evaluate themselves against recognized standards of best practice and focus on areas to improve. Our standards encourage continuous quality improvement, setting the stage for continuous sustainability and growth.